b Fr. Michael Bugarin Steps Down as JPII Center Director -b

Father G. Michael Bugarin, a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit and executive director of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, has been appointed pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, by Cardinal Adam Maida, archbishop of Detroit. Msgr. William A. Kerr, president of La Roche College in Pittsburgh, was named executive director of the Center by Cardinal Maida. The appointment is effective July 1, 2004. Msgr. Kerr is a priest of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. The 4000-family parish is one of the largest in the Detroit area. The suburban parish also has a 1,000-student grade school that has the distinction of being a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Father Bugarin has served as executive director of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center for the past six years. He oversaw the initial start up of the building and programming and the hiring of the Cultural Center's current staff. "I am extremely grateful to Father Bugarin for his untiring leadership in getting the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center up and running. He has accomplished wonders in a very short time," said Cardinal Maida. "I decided to call him back to Detroit where his talents and enthusiasm are greatly in demand." Father Bugarin announced the news to the Cultural Center staff today. "Although it will be difficult to leave, the Center will continue to be an important part of my life as I take on a new role as a consultant and as an advisor to the Center's governing board," he said. "Remember, I've been here since 1998 - way before the first bulldozer moved any dirt - and I leave with many fond memories: beautiful friendships, a dedicated and talented staff, many wonderful exhibitions and programs, our grand opening with President Bush, and giving tours of the Center to countless cardinals, bishops, heads of state and many of our faithful donors," he said. Father Bugarin also spoke fondly of his volunteer work with campus ministry at The Catholic University of America where he was able to continue "the priestly side of [his] ministry in Washington" and see the strong faith and spirituality of the young people on campus. Father Bugarin received a licentiate in canon law from The Catholic University of America during his tenure as executive director. He served as personal secretary to Cardinal Maida Prior to his appointment at the Cultural Center.

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